Tony Fernandes The former accountant and Vice President of Warner Music left his job, mortgaged his home, and sank his savings into his lifelong dream of starting a no-frills airline. Difficult enough for someone with no airline experience. Add to the risk that the deal was finalized soon after September 11, 2001. Despite the odds, Air Asia became one of the world’s most successful budget airlines.
Michael W. Kauffman When I met him, Mike was a camera operator on CNN’s Larry King Live in Washington, DC but his passion was Civil War history. A few years later I ran into him again, not in person, but online. The New York Times named Mike’s book one of the top twenty books of 2005. The book, American Brutus, is the story of John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln conspiracies. Mike turned his hobby – his passion – into a new career. Today, Michael W. Kauffman is recognized as a Civil War expert and in 1995 was called to testify before Congress during the Booth exhumation hearings.
Dr. Brian Harold May Dr. May is the co-author of A Village Lost and Found, on the work of English stereophotography innovator TR Williams. The book includes stereoscopic pictures from the 1850’s. The book also includes glasses – invented by Dr. May – needed to view the 3D images. Three years ago Dr. May earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics for his work on radial dust in space.
Dr. May started out as a musician. Physicist and author Brian May is also lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock group, Queen.
Each one of these people turned their passion into a new career.
As Chris Guillebeau says in a recent FastCompany interview, following your passion is fine, the challenge is following your passion to the bank.